for a long time now, but I’m not ready to let it go! YMOYL has changed my life and I AT LEAST want to rededicate to tracking and the Wall Chart.
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fidgiegirl has written 22 entries about this goal
And regaining some insight. In chapter four, there are good suggestions for discovering your life purpose. I must remember to go back to them when I am feeling fuzzy.
Excited to start up once more. My tracking system will be easily resurrected from a little over a year ago. Just need to tweak it to make it work for 2.
Well, good news. It seems that by downloading our credit card statements into our financial program, tracking is a lot easier. Not as frequent, hopefully still leading to increased mindfulness. At the minimum we will have good data to reflect upon monthly and will be able to use it to make a Wall Chart.
I have a renewed interest in YMOYL. I regret giving up on tracking about 15 months ago . . . my data was so good, and so encouraging. I am going to get back to tracking, but now that I’m married, I plan to do it using our CC statements and not so sure I will succeed in tracking to the penny. However, a close approximation is better than nothing at all. I know that the book talks a lot about integrity but I also do not want to annoy my husband to the point of divorce ;)
I picked up the new edition of YMOYL and it really does speak to me more than the former editions. The changes are significant. I would recommend obtaining it if you have not seen it and giving it a look-see. In fact, it looks like the address the to-the-penny or not-to-the-penny issue in there! I plan to reread the whole thing cover to cover.
I am interested in working part-time or leaving paid employment at some point in my life and my new, lovely DH does not believe that this could ever happen. So I think the tracking and following the steps has taken on a new dimension for me, because without that data, we would never know if we were in a chance to reduce our paid employment or not.
Will keep updating.
YMOYL has gone far from my daily life. At one point, I was working with a high degree of dedication on several of the steps. Slowly and one-by-one, I have stopped. That doesn’t mean I’m not intuitively doing them, because the exercise of doing them for as long as I did transformed my thinking completely.
But I think it might be time to revisit . . . when I put up this goal, I was single with no inkling I’d ever be with anyone and no plans to be. Now I am married and together, we are still working on paying off my debt (it will happen so soon!). Two factors have brought YMOYL back into my mind. One is the marriage. It’s not just my future I’m planning for. The second is the fact that if all goes according to plan, we will be out of debt except for the mortgage within six months. Then what? We have some direction from Dave Ramsey, so we will be making a 3-6 month EF, but what about the bigger vision? If each asked our own life purpose, could we answer?
We are both teachers and as far as I know, pretty happy in our jobs. So we are not feeling a desperation to exit the workplace anytime soon, but I also do not feel that this is my life’s calling. I mean, I do not feel I will be doing it for my entire life, at least in this exact form. Maybe I’ll be involved in education for a long time – it is fulfilling, challenging, and you can make a living at it. I know he doesn’t want to work the whole way to the grave, either, but we are having a hard time articulating what our actual goals are. It’s like neither of us actually believes we could leave paid employment earlier than the requisite 55 or 62 or whatever the magic number is. See, it’s so far off I don’t even know! But I think we could, and if we don’t work toward that, then we never will. We’ll just fritter our money away on other stuff and never make it happen because we won’t be trying to make it happen.
And then there’s our house . . . even paying the payment amount only, we could be paid off in 8 years. That’s an amazing feeling and would get us that much closer to Financial Independence. But I am feeling kind of tempted to look at other places right now, especially since this tax credit was offered to already-homeowners. A few months ago, DH was the one into looking at other houses, so this isn’t just my nagging thing – his is just laying more dormant at the moment :) There are definitely some things we aren’t in love with about our house, but none that make us hate living here. There are lots of things we like, too, and my husband has put a lot of money and sweat into the home over the years (he’s owned it for 8). So the questions maybe should come into play . . . is a different house worth the life energy it would take to buy it? Is buying a different house just getting us further from our (undefined) goals? Or is it making an investment in a place we truly want to be, where we truly feel at home, is truly all the things we want it to be for the long haul?
Big time soul-searching update! As always, the 43T perspective is appreciated.
I have been doing some soul-searching about YMOYL and wondering if I should keep this goal on my list. I was really faithful about tracking my expenses, every penny, for about two years. Then my computer crashed and I lost the ability to do it routinely for about two months. At first it was REALLY HARD to let go of tracking. Now, it’s somewhat of a relief. I do my checkbook in Excel, but don’t worry about my cash, interest, etc. I realize how much time and stress tracking was before. But now, I am sad that I won’t be able to run a report a tax time about my charitable contributions. Or if I want to check up on how much I’m spending, say, on groceries, or on scrapbooking. And if I don’t track, I can’t do my wall chart, which is what I would miss most of all.
I wonder if I’ve gotten all the value I can get from YMOYL. Probably not, but I have learned a lot. I am less attached to my “gazingus pins” (AKA crap I don’t need, but used a buy a lot of without thinking about it). I have decluttered pretty thoroughly because I realized I had more than “enough.” I am working seriously on paying off my debt because I want to be financially independent. I routinely ask myself if purchases are worth my life energy – sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren’t.
And I still could do more – for example, I know I’m not earning as much as I could for my job. In other districts teachers are paid better. But I work in a healthy place, and that’s worth a LOT to me – so I haven’t done anything about it yet. I guess my job is worth my life energy at this point, to stretch that concept a little.
I think I will resume tracking. I like seeing my net worth and status on all my accounts in one place. But I want it to feel good, like it does now – feel like I know where I’m at (not going to overdraft, for example), but not that if I don’t have my accounts PERFECTLY updated all the time the world is going to come to an end. And I will keep thinking about it – after all, I think that is the core of YMOYL – to think about our financial actions and not just do because it’s what’s done.
I was doing really well at tracking for over two years. I had my system set up in Moneydance, a shareware program, and had lots of data to make graphs, etc. Well, my computer died, and since I’m focusing on my snowball, I don’t want to buy a new one. And I can’t install Moneydance on my work computer, or at least I don’t want to. Not sure which (that makes no sense except I know what I mean ;) ). So, at least I set up my checking account in an Excel spreadsheet on a flash drive that I can carry in my purse and update at work or at home on the checked-out laptop (as long as we can keep it).
I haven’t been doing the questions for a long time, though the lens is still in place, the lens the questions provide for examining all my purchases. To me, that’s the essence of doing the monthly questions, so I’m not too sad that I haven’t actually sat with my numbers and done them.
Need to figure out a cash tracking system, which has always been my downfall, anyway. At least with tracking everything I can still do my Wall Chart.
Dave Ramsey’s approach has captivated my interest more as of late . . . not that I think less of YMOYL . . . but I think YMOYL is a deeper transformation. I think in my case I needed that before I could be ready to try Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. I needed to have a mental framework for approaching spending, one that made me feel like it wasn’t deprivation to be frugal but rather me being in charge of my money and my life. So I am grateful to YMOYL for that. Plus, think of how much my expenses line will drop on my Wall Chart once I’m not shelling out hundreds in debt payments!! That’ll be a great day!
The net worth chart is more exciting to look at than the wall chart. However, this isn’t debt paid off. I’ve been concurrently saving toward retirement and so this reflects both debt paid off and that savings. I still have over $20K in debt. Working on it!!!
There is a big discussion over on the Simple Living Network forums (well, not big, but a discussion) about Wall Charts. And since someone wanted an example, I thought I’d put mine up.
It is all over! The examples in the book are much more idealistic, I think. I mean, life happens. I had to pay tuition and medical bills. I got tax refunds, which I calculate as income since I calculate the taxes as an expense. Maybe that’s not right, but it’s how I do it.
I also am not concerned that in a few months my income is higher than expenses because, at least for the history of this chart, those expenses were planned and saved for – or at the very least, did not cause me to go further into debt.
Enjoy! I will post my net worth chart in a separate entry.
The questions just don’t seem to help motivate me . . . . at least the monthly examination of the questions. The daily “is this worth my life energy” question is very helpful. Maybe since I’m asking regularly, there isn’t a lot on the end-of-the-month tabulation that I strongly feel wasn’t worth it . . .
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